#CurrentlyWatching: The Gifted

As promised this week is all about heroes, villains and people with abilities. The Gifted falls right into the category as if focuses on some lesser known mutants from the X-Men universe. I’ve always had a thing for mutant stories, I think I just liked them better than the regular superheroes because in a weird way, they were more grounded in reality than the others. That could just be me though, lets talk about this particular show!

The Gifted runs on FOX and currently has one season with 13 episodes out there. It started around the same time as another Marvel show, Inhumans, but was greeted by a far better reception (peoples, I am not even going to talk about Inhumans ever. That show was such a massive disappointment!). So, I am happy to once more bring you good news and tell you that even before the season ended, The Gifted was renewed for a second season!

The X-Men are gone. There is only one safe place to go – the Mutant Underground. Together they will protect each other and fight for the life in peace they deserve.

I liked what they were doing with The Gifted from the beginning. While a lot of shows like it focus on origin stories and using all the CGI possible, The Gifted was always more about its characters and their relationships rather than anything else. Do I think the CGI could be better sometimes? Maybe, but if we’re being honest here, I think that about 90% of the things I watch, so that’s a way too high standard anyway.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t have anything against origin stories, but it’s also nice to just have all the players ready and laid out for you. As I understood it, we are in some sort of alternate universe here – the X-Men have vanished, and so has the Brotherhood. There are no real representatives for mutants anymore. If they make one misstep, they are hunted by the government no matter what and to see the light of day again after that is more than unlikely.

As so often when it comes to the mutant franchise, this is an underlying way to talk about racism and how society and politics deal with it. The conflict is best represented by the various main characters. On the one hand we have the Strucker family, where the parents are seemingly humans (with the father even being involved in the prosecution of humans) and their children are mutants. Then we have a Sentinel Services agent, whose daughter died during a mutant protest which he blamed people with abilities for ever since and lastly, the various members of the Mutant Underground who all have their own tragic and complicated backstories.

While the Struckers are definitely an integral part of the story and provide some of the biggest conflicts, I have to admit to enjoying the parts with the members from the Mutant Underground more. A lot of the romantic relationships were already established before the show even began, but that doesn’t mean there wasn’t drama and growth. I liked how they struggled with the use of their powers, when it was morally right to use them for the cause and when it wasn’t.

While I really enjoyed the whole Thunderbird-Dreamer-Blink struggle, it was Eclipse and Polaris that caught my attention the most in the end. Their personalities mirror those of Professor X and Magneto (*cough* like father like daughter?*cough*) so much, which made their relationship even more intense, comprehensive but also bound to explode. If you follow the series until episode 13, you won’t be too surprised by how the season ends, as it reminds us of several stand offs in X-Men history.

Still, they are basically meant for each other. They literally create an aurora borealis, because that’s how their powers act when they are together.

Some of the episodes unfortunately have the tendency to fall into a predictable routine. It’s almost as if we were dealing with a case-of-the-week type scenario, which here is more like “how do we get the police off our backs” coupled with “the humans went off and thought they knew better once again”. It didn’t bother me too much, but it is something to be aware of as you go along. The stakes got higher with time though, and I appreciated that.

As I said, there’s already a second season in the works and I am really looking forward to seeing where our characters end up. Allegiances have shifted a bit by the end, so there’s definitely a lot to explore!

Have you watched The Gifted? What is your stance on mutants? Do you want to watch it now? Let’s talk!